- Position: First Base
- Age: 24
- Acquired: non-drafted free agent, 2007
What is it that the Tribe lineup desperately needs? A right handed stick that is a potential scary monster? Well, there might not need to be a need to go outside the system with Aguilar around.
Aguilar was signed as an amateur free agent by the Indians on November 13, 2007 out of Venezuela. He hails from the same town as Miguel Cabrera, Maracay. He reported to the Dominican Rookie League for the 2008 season. That first season did not amount to much as he hit 209/286/311, but he had a decent 23/29 walk to strikeout ratio in 274 PA. His repeat season in 2009 paid off as he hit 205/412/460 and had a superb 31/24 walk to strikeout ratio in 238 PA.
He split the 2010 season in the Arizona Rookie League and at Mahoning Valley, combining for a 251/297/421 line, but his walk to strikeout ratio jumped to 16/61. But the front office liked his peripherals enough to start him at Lake County in 2011. He rewarded them by hitting 292/370/544 and finally breaking double digits in home runs with 19. That earned him a late season push to Kinston, where he hit 257/323/389 in 124 PA.
He opened 2012 again in A+, but the franchise was now in Carolina. He hit 277/365/454 with 12 homers and a 45/91 walk to strikeout ratio in 427 PA as a 22 year old. He also performed very well in Akron late that season. In just 20 games, he hit 292/402/500.
That 2012 season earned him a nod as the #13 prospect in the Tribe organization by Sickels and a C+ rating. He spent the entire 2013 in Akron, putting up a nice 275/349/427 line, driving in 105, with 28 doubles and 16 homers, and another impressive 56/107 ratio. He then shined in winter ball last season, playing with Caracas in his home country. He spanked 18 homers in just 58 games and struck out just 43 times.
Sickels does not take much stock in Winter League stats, so he began this season as his #16 Tribe prospect and a downgrade to a C rating. MiLB had him pegged at #19 for Cleveland to start the year, and he also received an invite to spring training. He went hitless in 15 AB this spring and reported to Columbus for his first taste of AAA ball.
He began his Clipper career with a 298/395/519 line through mid-May. He got called up twice in May, tallying just 16 AB in 8 games, mostly riding the pine. He stayed in Columbus from June through August, finishing his initial foray in AAA with an impressive 304/395/511 line, 19 homers and a 64/98 walk to strikeout ratio. With the September roster expansion, Aguilar was recalled back to Cleveland and played very sparingly during the playoff push.
2014 Grade: B+
I might have given him an A- rating if not for his very weak numbers in Cleveland. He hit just 121/211/121 (good enough for a -1 OPS) in 38 PA in just 33 games. That poor line could be explained by his sporadic use or nerves, but it still doesn't look pretty, no matter how you try to justify it.
With Carlos Santana firmly entrenched at first base for next season, Aguilar is likely staying put with Columbus next season. He isn't particularly good with the glove, and is not position flexible. His encouraging 2014 season, landed him at #10 on MiLB prospect list, and I suspect Sickels might move him up to a B- rating. The Indians have him under control until the 2020 season. If he has another spike in 2015, he will force the front office to perhaps deal him as I do not foresee Santana changing positions again.